Tips for travelers with disabilities

January 18, 2019 (408 words)

[Headline: Tips for travelers with disabilities]

Booking a flight, navigating a packed airport and getting to the gate on time can cause stress. Then there's using tiny on-board bathrooms and hoping you get your luggage back in one piece.

Now imagine doing all this in a wheelchair. Wheelchair and scooter damage, long waits and even traveler injuries have been reported.

Things could improve with the signing of the Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization Act of 2018, which includes a “bill of rights” and advisory panel for passengers with disabilities, and revised TSA procedures.

Paralyzed Veterans of America has a full list of tips that can smooth travel hassles. The group suggests arriving two-to-three hours before a flight, calling ahead for special arrangements, bringing a small toolkit, and several other steps to avoid problems. Travelers can find resources and information on changing rules and share their disability-travel stories at pva.org/travel.

5 ways to get financially fit this new year

January 17, 2019 (711 words)

[Headline: Tips for a fiscally fit 2019]

According to a new survey from Marcus by Goldman Sachs, 74 percent of Americans think their financial well-being has an impact on their overall health and 64 percent feel they are not in the best financial shape they could be. On top of that, half of those surveyed (50 percent) think it’s easier to get into better physical shape than financial shape and 59 percent consider tracking expenses and budgeting to be more stressful than trying a new workout.

Although New Year’s resolutions to improve financial fitness may seem daunting, they are achievable. Here are five simple ways to help achieve better financial fitness in 2019:

* Take control of debt

* Establish an achievable budget

* Track spending

* Consider a high-yield online savings account

* Partner with a friend or family member working toward the same financial goal.

Common cold or pulmonary fibrosis? Know the symptoms

January 16, 2019 (570 words)

[Headline: Do you have pulmonary fibrosis?]

While the condition is largely unknown, more than 200,000 Americans are living with pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive, debilitating lung disease.

There are three main symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis — shortness of breath, a dry, hacking cough and fatigue. If you have two or more of these lingering symptoms, they should be taken seriously and you should speak with your physician.

To help you start that conversation with your doctor, a Pulmonary Fibrosis Risk List is available at AboutPF.org.

To be diagnosed, you may need further testing, like pulmonary function testing and/or high-resolution computed tomography, after a thorough exam with your physician.

If further action is needed, you can find a local pulmonologist through the PFF Care Center Network, which includes centers with experience in pulmonary fibrosis diagnosis and treatment.

For more information or to find a pulmonologist near you, visit AboutPF.org.

5 tips to prevent the spread of an infectious superbug

January 14, 2019 (650 words)

[Headline: 5 ways to prevent MRSA]

Infectious diseases, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are spreading rapidly among public places like gyms and schools, but prevention efforts should continue at home. Consider the following MRSA prevention tips:

1. Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds or use hand sanitizer.

2. Keep to yourself and do not share personal items, such as towels or razors.

3. Regularly clean countertops and other surfaces in our home with an EPA-registered disinfectant, like Clorox Regular Bleach with Cloromax.

4. Act fast and take care of cuts and open wounds by covering them with a clean, dry bandage until healed.

5. Use a barrier, such as a towel, between skin and shared equipment at the gym.

Learn more on how to prevent the spread of viruses and bacteria, such as MRSA, at Clorox.com.

How ancient ingredients can give your winter health a boost today

January 14, 2019 (575 words)

[Headline: Ancient cold remedies]

Honey. Honey has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Honey is rich in vitamins B and C, and minerals like calcium, iron, zinc and more. Manuka honey, out of New Zealand, is getting a lot of attention lately for its super beneficial qualities.

Echinacea. Grown in North America, echinacea, which comes from the coneflower, has been part of Native American traditional medicine for hundreds of years. It has historically been reported to support the immune system, and today, we know echinacea to do the same. You can find it in liquid form, or in supplements. Swisse Immune Forte combines echinacea with elderflower, vitamin C and zinc for a powerful combination of immune-supporting effects.

Andrographis. Andrographis is a plant native to South Asian countries often used to make medicine. Andrographis is rich in compounds called andrographolides (hence the name), which are said to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

The top 5 supplements everyone should be taking in the new year

January 14, 2019 (615 words)

[Headline: 5 top supplements]

Not all supplements are created equal. Here are the top five supplements on the market today, and insights into what to look for on the label.

High-potency multivitamin: The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) most multivitamins provide are only the minimal doses to avoid deficiencies. That's not enough. Look for a high-potency multivitamin.

Curcumin/turmeric: Super BioCurcumin by Life Extension absorbs up to seven times better than conventional supplements, providing strong anti-inflammatory protection for your body.

Fish oil: The EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil promote heart health and cognitive health.

Coenzyme Q10: CoQ10 is the ultimate heart-friendly supplement. 

Probiotic: Look for supplements that only target the bad bacteria, leaving the good bacteria in your gut alone.

Making healthcare more accessible and medications more affordable: Technology to the rescue

January 09, 2019 (471 words)

[Headline: Tech to the rescue for patients and doctors]

New technologies give doctors transparency into a patient’s prescription coverage while making the patient more engaged in taking care of their health.

“Doctors can use the new tools to provide drug and coverage information on the spot,” said Express Scripts’ Dr. Lynne Nowak. “This guarantees you’re getting the right medication at the best price. It also lets your doctor know if your medication requires prior authorization before you go to the pharmacy to fill your prescription.”

If your doctor is not yet using these tools, you may still be able to access your personalized information right from your phone through your health plan or pharmacy benefits manager app available for your smartphone. These offer information about the drug being prescribed, the out-of-pocket costs, the pharmacy offering the best price in your area and if there are alternatives or generics available for you. 

Infant health insight: 4 formula-feeding mistakes and misconceptions

January 08, 2019 (698 words)

[Headline: Save money on baby formula]

According to a Perrigo Nutrition survey, 20 percent of moms worried about what formula to purchase in the first few months of their baby’s life. One way to stretch budgets without sacrificing quality is to use store-brand formulas that meet the same strict FDA standards as nationally advertised brands. 

“Store-brand formula will provide complete nutrition for baby just like any brand-name formula,” says Dr. Jennifer Gardner. “All infant formulas are required to meet the same FDA standards, which means store-brand formula has the same quality as other brand names but costs less. More importantly, there’s no need for parents to take unnecessary risks such as diluting formula to save money when they can trust that store-brand formula is a high-quality and affordable option.”

Think summer: 4 things you didn’t know about boat shows

January 04, 2019 (595 words)

[Headline: Climb aboard at your local boat show]

Plan for warmer days by visiting a boat show, a major draw for 142 million Americans, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association. 

* Warm up with hot deals. Hundreds of new models are available at the best prices of the year. Order a boat to ensure it arrives by spring.

* Navigate the boating lifestyle. Learn the ropes of boating for little to no cost. Boat shows offer fun, interactive activities for the whole family. 

* Invest in your health. According to a Discover Boating survey, 72 percent of Americans reported feeling healthier spending time on the water. Boaters experience positive health benefits like stress reduction. 

* Look for the seal of approval. NMMA Certified boat and trailer manufacturers have been independently inspected to ensure they meet strict industry standards for safety and construction, as well as all federal regulations. 

Visit DiscoverBoating.com to find a boat show near you.

5 dermatologist tips for winter skincare

January 03, 2019 (663 words)

[Headline: A dermatologist's winter skincare tips]

The chill, the dryness, the itch: As temperatures drop, winter can wreak havoc on your skin. Fortunately, you can fight winter's wrath by taking a few smart, proactive steps from dermatologist Dr. Shari Marchbein.

Stay warm, not hot: Hot water strips the skin of natural moisture that keeps it healthy, hydrated and protected. Take a short, lukewarm shower and cozy up afterward in a warm blanket instead.

Ditch the itch: To help maintain extra hydration, be sure to moisturize daily with a thick option like CeraVe Healing Ointment. This is especially important right after showering to seal in and restore lost moisture.

Dress smart: Continue to wear your favorite wool sweaters and avoid the itch by adding a light, breathable shirt underneath so the wool doesn't directly touch your body.

5 things parents should know before choosing a summer camp

December 28, 2018 (678 words)

[Headline: How to pick the right summer camp]

Use this helpful guide from Bricks 4 Kidz to help you choose the right summer camp for your child.

* To find a wide variety of local options, check your town’s parks department as well as nonprofit organizations. Teachers and coaches are also great resources.

* The notion of camp promises an immersive and engaging experience. Look closely at each program to make sure the organizers promote this idea.  

* Make sure your child is on board. Consider your child's interests and how camp can make them stronger.

* Don’t forget the fun factor. Good camps should leave space in the sessions for kids to cut loose and bond with each other.

* Choose well-established programs with experienced leaders, so you know your child is getting that high-quality, consistent experience.

New year, healthy you: 4 steps for a healthier you

December 27, 2018 (410 words)

[Headline: 4 steps for a healthier you]

Instead of taking on large, difficult-to-maintain resolutions, there are smaller, simpler steps and habits that can be embraced, bringing a lasting healthier you into the new year.

Self-care isn’t selfish: Everyone needs a break from their social life on occasion.

Bring on the breakfast: Though it might feel like a huge time saver, skipping breakfast is actually detrimental to your day.

Treat the small stuff: Treating minor health conditions can be just as important for overall health as visiting the doctor for more serious concerns. Quick relief for bum discomfort, such as itching and burning, is achievable with Preparation H Totables Irritation Relief Wipes.

Work, walk, work. Repeat: Set a timer and get up for a five-minute lap around the office or house every hour or so.

5 simple tips for the best batch of cookies

December 26, 2018 (621 words)

[Headline: 5 simple cookie tips]

* Get a food scale. For consistent results, weigh ingredients, especially flour. The rule of thumb: Every cup of white flour equals 5 ounces.

Use high-quality ingredients. Use the best quality natural ingredients and flavorings, such as double-strength, flavor-rich Watkins All Natural Baking Vanilla Extract, to bake your best cookies yet.

Chill the dough. Chilling dough for at least an hour prevents cookies from over-spreading while baking. Another upside: You can prepare dough ahead of time and chill until you’re ready to bake.

Use parchment paper. No need for pricey baking sheets. Parchment paper on each cookie sheet does wonders for preventing overdone cookie bottoms.

Decorate with care. Start with good dough (chilled) and use cookie cutters for perfect shapes. Wait for cookies to cool before applying icing or toppings. Use a variety of toppings (candies, sprinkles, icing, etc.) for beautiful results.

Depression and how to manage it

December 21, 2018 (552 words)

[Headline: Depression management is possible]

People experiencing symptoms of depression can take these three steps:

Step 1: Get screened by a qualified mental health expert. Screening is an important first step to determine an appropriate treatment plan.

Step 2: Discuss any concerns about the recommended treatment plan with your provider. Depression can be managed with the right treatment options, which may include psychotherapy and medication.

Step 3: Take medications as prescribed. Using a free prescription savings program such as the Inside Rx card could help if you are uninsured, or if your health insurance plan doesn’t cover your prescribed medication. The program can save an average of 40 percent on select brand-name and 80 percent retail generic medications. Learn more about the program, and terms and restrictions, at InsideRx.com.

Take steps to help manage symptoms and be aware of resources like the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.

YOUR CANCER Movement Brings Community Together to Recognize Those Making a Difference

December 21, 2018 (331 words)

[Headline: Website offers cancer resources]

If you’re fighting cancer, you’re not alone.

In fact, you’re part of a team made up of patients, caregivers, nurses, researchers, payers, HCPs, policy makers and advocacy groups, all fighting the good fight to overcome the pervasive and often heartbreaking disease. 

That’s the primary message of a new movement sponsored by AstraZeneca known as YOUR Cancer, which works to spotlight progress being made in the cancer community, to engage community members and recognize those making a difference. The movement features a website (YOURCancer.org) that rounds up resources, articles, clinical trials and other relevant information involving different forms of cancer.

You can join the fight by visiting www.YOURCancer.org and reading accounts of some of the many patients, caregivers, doctors, researchers and advocates playing critical roles in the cancer community. Help recognize those making a difference by sharing the stories you read on social media, using the tag #YOURCANCER.

6 best foods to donate to food banks

December 21, 2018 (655 words)

[Headline: Recipe: Spicy Mandarin Orange 4 Bean Salad]

For Dole Packaged Food's hunger relief campaign, Chef Jamie Gwen created this delicious recipe from ingredients commonly donated to food banks. 

Spicy Mandarin Orange 4 Bean Salad

1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans, drained, rinsed
1 can (15 ounces) green beans, drained, rinsed
2 cans (11 or 15 ounces) Dole Mandarin Oranges, drained
1/2 cup celery, thinly sliced
1 to 2 small jalapeno peppers, minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt, freshly ground pepper

Mix kidney beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, green beans, mandarin oranges, celery and jalapenos in large bowl. Whisk vinegar, oil, sugar in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Add salt, black pepper to taste. Pour dressing over bean mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate 1-2 hours minimum before serving.

5 simple ways to bring more color to your home

December 20, 2018 (558 words)

[Headline: Create a colorful home]

Lifestyle expert Camille Styles offers simple ways to bring color into your home:

Paint an accent wall: An accent wall commands attention, and will easily become the new focal point of any room.

Add a vibrant rug: A rug with a bright color or pattern can help create the illusion of more space and make it more inviting.  

Start small: Incorporate a new, bold tone with items like a coffee table accessory or oversized pillows.

Embrace the unexpected: For example, paint the trim instead of the wall. EasyCare Ultra Premium Paint’s Crow color will definitely wow your guests.

Introduce different, colorful textures: Add a plush throw blanket or a woven basket for visual variation.

4 ways to reduce your stress

December 20, 2018 (501 words)

In the United States, a survey found that seven out of 10 people reported feeling some stress daily. To help you stay calm and focused, consider these four ways to reduce stress.

Smells: Certain smells can bring back specific and detailed memories. Seeking out smells that bring back those happy memories can help reduce stress levels.

Salt: Stress is characterized in the human body by high levels of the hormone cortisol, the "stress hormone.” Scientific research has shown that increased levels of salt consumption are effective in reducing levels of cortisol.

Pets: Animal therapy has long been used to relieve stress, improve mood and treat anxiety. Some studies have indicated that just being around an animal can reduce blood pressure.

Exercise: Regular exercise, even if mild, may be the best stress reducer there is. When you are active the body releases endorphins, which produce a feeling of well-being.

Bringing joy to pediatric patients can start with a dog

December 19, 2018 (626 words)

[Headline: Dogs as hospital helpers]

In-residence dogs are highly trained service dogs that work in healthcare settings and perform specialized tasks. They are trained to create an emotional connection with pediatric patients, helping to provide them with joy, comfort and other medical benefits. They can be trained to help children keep still during tests and even do incredible things like teach kids how to take a pill and model how to put on a hospital gown.

The Joy in Childhood Foundation is inviting children’s hospitals nationwide to apply for a Dogs for Joy grant if they’re interested in launching a new in-residence dog program or expanding an existing program. Funds awarded cover costs for launching and maintaining an in-residence dog program at a hospital, including adoption of the dog, training of select staff, dog food, dog grooming needs, dog toys and more. Applicants can visit www.joyinchildhoodfoundation.org/dogsforjoy to apply until March 31, 2019.

 

Omega-3s: Do you really know what they are, and if you are getting enough?

December 19, 2018 (509 words)

[Headline: Are you getting enough omega-3s?]

Unlike many other important measures of health, most people have no awareness of their omega-3 levels.

Omega-3s are found in fatty fish such as salmon and sardines. But many people have difficulty achieving optimal levels with diet alone. According to one study, among people who believed they were eating a balanced diet, 98 percent had below the optimal level.

Resources can help us learn where our levels stand — the Omega-3 Index test, a simple blood test, unveils what percentage of red blood cells contain EPA and DHA.

A brief quiz online provides a general guide for individual omega-3 scores. The five-question quiz at www.knowyouromega3s.com was launched by MegaRed, an omega-3 supplement brand dedicated to helping support overall health. By answering the simple questions, you can determine if your levels might be low, and learn helpful tips and actions to ensure you are getting enough.

New insulin help center offers options to reduce patient costs

December 13, 2018 (488 words)

Some people with diabetes in the U.S. face increasingly high out-of-pocket costs for insulin, a medicine that regulates sugar levels in the blood and allows cells to use and store sugar for energy. Some are confronted with difficult financial choices and dire healthcare consequences.

In response, Eli Lilly and Company, a major insulin manufacturer, is offering new solutions to lower and cap monthly out-of-pocket costs for people who pay at or near full list price, including launching a helpline. The Lilly Diabetes Solution Center provides answers for people who need help paying for insulin.

People calling the helpline at 833-808-1234 (9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET Monday through Friday) will find experienced representatives to review the individual circumstances and identify options to help them pay for their Lilly insulin.

Based on market research, more than 400,000 people living with diabetes in the U.S. and Puerto Rico could benefit.

Cold brew coffee: How to enjoy this top 2019 food trend at home

December 13, 2018 (648 words)

[Headline: What is cold brew coffee?]

Cold brew coffee is slowly steeped in cool water using rich, coarser beans than you would in hot brewing at home. While you can brew a pot of traditional hot coffee in a few minutes, cold brew takes hours — 12 or more — to achieve the signature result.

Coffee made using the cold brew method has a smoother, naturally sweeter result that is less acidic than traditional hot-brewed coffee. The reason is organic acids (like citric, malic, formic, quinic and acetic) enhance coffee’s flavor and aroma, yet dissolve in hot water. The cold brewing method allows these important molecules to stay intact, which results in a difference you can taste. 

Java House(R) Authentic Cold Brew Dual-Use Liquid Pods can be enjoyed hot or cold at home, so you can taste the difference without all the work.

Most adults with chronic health conditions unaware of dangers of influenza

December 07, 2018 (471 words)

[Headline: Unknown dangers of flu]

Medical experts are calling for improved annual influenza (flu) vaccination rates to protect U.S. adults from infection that can lead to serious health complications, especially for those with certain chronic health conditions. A new survey revealed that many do not realize the condition is more dangerous for those with a chronic health condition.

The National Foundation for Infectious Diseases recently conducted a consumer survey to better understand public awareness of the connection between chronic health conditions and serious complications of flu that revealed:

* Less than a quarter of U.S. adults recognize that people with heart disease (24 percent) and diabetes (22 percent) are at greater risk for flu-related complications.

* Less than 20 percent of U.S. adults are aware that heart attack (16 percent), worsening of diabetes (16 percent), stroke (13 percent) and disability (10 percent) can occur as potential complications of flu.

Visit www.nfid.org/flu-chronic-health-conditions for more information.

Standardized protocols needed to improve health outcomes related to pregnancy complications

December 06, 2018 (541 words)

[Headline: Improving maternal health outcomes]

Rates of maternal mortality and preterm birth continue to rise in the United States. But by standardizing protocols across the healthcare system, advocates say we could improve care for women.

The fractured nature of U.S. healthcare means patient care varies widely between providers. Advocates say the lack of standardized treatment plans lead to missed opportunities for improved outcomes.

For example, fetal fibronectin (fFN) testing is highly effective in determining the likelihood of a premature birth but remains significantly underutilized. This results in unnecessary hospitalizations and potentially dangerous situations where women are sent home when more care should have been provided.

Both Mayo Clinic and Brigham & Women’s Hospital saw improved maternal and fetal outcomes as well as reduced costs after standardizing triage protocols that include fFN testing.

Experts agree care must be tailored to individual patients, but advocates maintain increased use of standardized protocols could save lives and decrease preterm births.

Fighting an illness? 4 ways to boost your immune system

December 06, 2018 (643 words)

[Headline: Lifestyle changes to boost immunity]

You can make changes to your nutrition and lifestyle to help support health and immunity. These include:

* Decrease your exposure to bacteria, viruses and germs.

* Aim for 7 hours or more of sleep every night. If your sleep is interrupted, try a 30-minute nap during the day.

* Reduce stress by taking time to do things you enjoy such as spending time with family, spending time outdoors or reading. If your feelings of anxiety or depression make it difficult for you to complete daily tasks, talk to your healthcare team.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society offers free nutrition education and consultations to all cancer patients and caregivers. Visit www.LLS.org/nutrition for more information.

Putting your best face forward: 5 holiday beauty tips

December 04, 2018 (554 words)

[Headline: Brighten Your Beauty Routine]

As you relax and socialize this holiday season, consider these effective steps to make your face look brighter and more vibrant:

* Eat well and stay hydrated. When you cut out junk food, eat nourishing foods and drink plenty of water, your skin tends to reward you by looking clearer right away.

* Use a simple product that will whiten your smile. Turning your teeth dazzlingly white, even if they’ve been discolored by time and/or the frequent consumption of coffee, tea and red wine, can be difficult. Actress Debra Messing attributes her signature smile to Colgate Optic White(R) High Impact White(TM) Toothpaste, which features the key ingredient hydrogen peroxide. “I don’t mess around with anything that doesn’t work — who has time for that?” Messing notes.

* Tame those wayward eyebrows. These days, women and men are both paying more attention to the definition, shape and overall neatness of their brows. 

Hum bug: The flu is the holiday gift no one wants to receive

December 01, 2018 (427 words)

[Headline: Tips to avoid flu]

Here are the ServiceMaster Clean top seven tips for avoiding holiday flu infection:

Hand hygiene. Wash often and thoroughly with antibacterial soap. Use hand sanitizer frequently.

Get a flu shot. Flu vaccines may take up to two weeks to be effective, so be inoculated well before holiday parties begin.

Be careful of high-touch hot zones. Some surfaces (kitchen counters, doorknobs, bathroom faucets) are touched by lots of people. If you are hosting an event, clean hard surfaces thoroughly with a disinfectant cleaner.

Avoid close encounters. A flu-carrier in close proximity can make you ill. Keep your distance.

Drinking-glass roulette. Cups and glasses get misplaced or confused at parties. If you are unsure, get a new cup.

Toys and games are not always fun. Toys can be teeming with pathogens if handled by people who are ill. 

Mistletoe. Forget about it! Blow them a kiss instead.

Prep your kitchen against holiday pests with these 5 tricks

November 30, 2018 (359 words)

[Headline: Keep pests out]

The experts at Terminix have a few tips for protecting your kitchen from insects, so that you can spend your time enjoying the holidays rather than combating pests.

Start with a deep clean: Clean your kitchen and pantry top to bottom, removing food spillage and stains that could attract pests. 

Don’t try to salvage contaminated food: If you find a food item that’s been contaminated, simply throw it out.  

Store supplies carefully: Seal the plethora of holiday leftovers and open packages in airtight containers.

Inspect new purchases for signs of damage: Be sure to examine each new food product for signs that it could already be infested.

Call in a professional: Trained technicians can help determine what kind of pest is trying to invite itself to your classy dinner, and how best to get rid of it. 

Luxury entertaining for the holidays

November 29, 2018 (420 words)

The holidays usher in a sense of celebration and opportunities for lavish seasonal gatherings. To leave a luxurious, lasting impression, try these tips from award-winning Chef Michael Voltaggio.

The experience: At the start of the event, greet guests with a cocktail topped with fragrant garnish, and introduce unexpected details, such as a passed amuse-bouche atop a slate serving platter.

The essentials: Every touchpoint should exude the same level of luxury, from the linens to the culinary tools used. For Voltaggio, this is especially true of kitchen faucets. The Artesso SmartTouch Pull-Down Prep Faucet by Brizo offers visual intrigue and touch technology.

Lavish pairings: Pair candlesticks of various heights with bone china; carefully select wine pairings for dishes.

Finishing touches: Ornament an autumnal risotto with shaved truffle to bring rich depth of flavor or infuse a wintry dessert with liquid nitrogen for an unexpected dining experience.

5 tips for avoiding the cold & flu this year

November 29, 2018 (544 words)

[Headline: 5 tips to avoid flu]

These tips can help prevent you and your family from catching the flu virus.

Disinfect: Disinfect surfaces in your home and workplace.

Wash your hands: Wash with warm water and soap for 60 seconds or longer as your best way to avoid germs.

Eat healthy foods: Keep nutritious food at your home and workplace and eat balanced meals to strengthen your immune system.

Get vaccinated: Getting vaccinated will overwhelmingly decrease the risk of getting the flu this cold and flu season.

Avoid the waiting room: Crowded waiting rooms can expose you to other people’s germs along with spreading yours. To avoid these spaces and get the treatment you or your dependents need, consider using a telemedicine service like Doctor On Demand to avoid the waiting room altogether this flu season.

4 easy health hacks to stay tough this winter season

November 27, 2018 (418 words)

[Headline: Winter health hacks]

Along with cooler temperatures, winter brings a host of preventable viruses.

Here are four simple daily hacks to keep you feeling strong this winter season:

* Get your zzz’s and establish a morning routine so your body can acclimate and regenerate.

* Add tough antioxidants with a glass of Welch’s 100% Grape Juice to give you 100% of the vitamin C you need.

* Eat for the season and seek out winter foods such as stews + soups that incorporate lean meats and dark leafy greens that are high in iron.

* Protect your gut to help boost your immunity and maximize your vitamin absorption. Opt for high-probiotic foods.

Whether you’re looking to dodge illness or get a head start on healthy habits for 2019, incorporate these easy tricks into your daily routine.

Eating healthy, eating safe

November 27, 2018 (448 words)

Each year, foodborne illnesses sicken close to 50 million Americans. A lot of these illnesses are caused by simple things like restaurant employees’ failure to properly wash hands, cooking surfaces and fruits and vegetables.

Salt is a very effective anti-bacterial in food. In fact, it is the oldest known food preserver.

Salt preservation works by influencing the amount of water that all microorganisms require to survive and grow. The use of salt in controlling water means that microbiological safety can be achieved with reduced heat, acidity and other preservatives. This results in a product of improved taste and nutritional quality. 

Food safety is an ongoing challenge for an enormous and complex food system, and although challenges continually arise, exercising caution and attention in food purchasing, storage and preparation will minimize the risks. Remember to not only eat healthy but to also eat safely.

How to protect against the silent killer

November 21, 2018 (572 words)

[Headline: Protect against carbon monoxide]

A colorless and odorless gas, carbon monoxide is known as “the silent killer,” impossible to detect without a CO alarm. Estimates suggest that there are more than 80,000 CO incidents per year. 

To ensure your home is protected, install CO alarms. By providing protection against the deadly gas, CO alarms can make the difference between life and death. A survey from First Alert found that 40 percent of Americans do not own a single working CO alarm.

It is recommended to install CO alarms on every level of the home, including the basement, and within 15 feet of all sleeping areas. Check alarms regularly and follow manufacturer instructions.

If your CO alarm sounds, immediately go outside for fresh air and call 911. To learn more about CO safety or other home safety tips, visit https://www.firstalert.com/carbonmonoxide/

7 ways to help manage ADHD without medication

November 20, 2018 (803 words)

[Headline: Manage ADHD without medication]

The following are all-natural ways to help manage ADHD from licensed psychotherapist and ADHD Life Coach Robin Livingston-Richter.

Exercise: Exercise releases endorphins, the “feeling good” chemicals needed to regulate mood and pleasure. Endorphins also increase attention and focus.

Outdoors: Nature has a restorative effect on busy brains, so spend time outdoors or purchase a therapy light.

Music: Music can provide a dopamine boost that the busy ADHD brain craves.

Gratitude: To help you believe in yourself, implement an “attitude of gratitude.”

Nutrition: A healthy diet of whole foods packed with nutrients is beneficial for people with ADHD because what you eat can impact how your mind functions.

Mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness can help improve self-control, impulsivity, and attention.

Coaching: An ADHD Life Coach helps you understand how your ADHD mind works and provides effective strategies and tactics to set you up for success.

For more information, visit www.stigma2strength.com.

Holiday shopping tips to save money and reduce stress

November 20, 2018 (543 words)

[Headline: Holiday shopping tips]

Here are money- and time-saving tips to reduce your shopping stress and get the most out of holiday sales:

Make a gift list: Write down everyone you need to shop for and assign a dollar amount next to each name.

Review the deals: Collect ads from your favorite stores and use them to create your shopping plan.

Don’t procrastinate: The easiest way to overspend on holiday gifts is to wait until the last minute.

Follow brands on social media: Check out your favorite brands, where you can find up-to-the-minute info on savings.

Shop savvy with your smartphone: Mobile apps, like Home Depot’s, make it easy to search for your favorite items.

Don’t overlook shipping costs: When ordering online, beware of shipping, delivery and service fees.

Winter allergies: The allergies you didn't know you could have

November 20, 2018 (777 words)

[Headline: Do you have a dust mite allergy?]

One of the most common indoor allergens, dust mites are a year-round annoyance.

* Symptoms: Nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, irritated eyes, coughing, wheezing, itchiness in throat.

* Diagnosis and Treatment: Your allergist will perform a skin test or blood test to determine the cause of your allergy and order treatment that may include medications or allergy shots.

* Management: The presence of dust mites does not mean you have a dirty house; they're everywhere. You can lessen or avoid your symptoms by opting for wood floors, cleaning with a vacuum that has a HEPA filter, using mite-proof cases on mattresses and pillows and washing linens regularly in hot water.

Use the allergist locator tool on the ACAAI website to find an allergist near you to treat your symptoms.

Tips for using metals in home decor

November 19, 2018 (368 words)

[Headline: Using metals in home decor]

While trends in home decor often change, there is one constant design feature that continues to shine: metals. 

Heavy metal mixing

Avoid mixing the same color family — such as gold and brass, or nickel and silver. Rather, choose one metal that can serve as the dominant and another to complement it. 

The gilded age of flooring

Achieving the golden look isn’t done through metallic finishes alone. One way to bring the shine to a room is with flooring like Lumber Liquidators’ Gilded Reserve Chestnut, which reveals hints of a glimmering gold stain through its lightly wirebrushed chestnut base.

Add elements of luxury

Simple and strategic touches of metal can bring a big impact, such as in picture frames, drawer pulls or door handles, and sink fixtures.

For a no-worries Noel, follow these 12 holiday safety tips

November 16, 2018 (577 words)

[6 holiday safety tips]

The festive activities during the holiday season make it a favorite time of year for many people. Unfortunately, some 30 percent of all home fires and 38 percent of home fire deaths occur over December, January and February, reports the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI).  

Think about these best practices for keeping you and your family safer.

1. Have GFCI protection outdoors or anywhere electricity and water may come in contact. 

2. When in bed, stash phones, computers and appliances elsewhere to rule out overheating. 

3. Install an arc-fault circuit interrupter to protect your home from potentially danger power leaks, and add shutter-protected tamper-resistant receptacles that prevent curious children from inserting objects.

4. Monitor space heaters for overheating, sparking, tipping over and/or igniting combustibles. 

5. Consider battery-operated instead of open-flame candles.

6. When decorating, check for loose or bare wires, cracked or damaged sockets, wobbly connections or other hazards.

Understanding the connection between frequent heartburn and cancer

November 16, 2018 (288 words)

[Headline: Frequent heartburn and cancer]

If you are among the millions of Americans with chronic heartburn, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) wants you to think differently about your condition. It may indicate something more serious — changes in the cells lining your esophagus that could lead to a common form of esophageal cancer. 

There’s more reason than ever to act today. Gastroenterologists can now more reliably detect these cell changes when they are still harmless, and more easily treat or remove them before they can progress to cancer.

Adenocarcinoma is the most common form of esophageal cancer in the U.S. and primarily affects white men over age 55. Experts expect this health concern to increase in incidence over the next 10 years due to the rise of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Visit www.PreventHeartburnCancer.org for information. 

6 simple tips for thriving with diabetes

November 15, 2018 (699 words)

Producer, music industry expert and television personality Randy Jackson has been living with diabetes for 18 years. Below are six simple tips from Jackson to stay healthy and keep smiling.

1. Make healthy choices. Pay attention to what you eat.

2. Embrace movement. Find fun ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine.

3. Maintain good oral health. Jackson pays extra attention to the products he uses, like Colgate Total toothpaste.

4. Listen to your doctor … and your dentist. Your dentist may see changes to your oral health that could be indicators of diabetes, such as fungal infections or signs of gum disease.

5. Create a personalized treatment plan. Work with your doctor and dentist to implement necessary changes into your routine and educate yourself.

6. Build a strong support system. Surround yourself with positive people.

For more information, visit OralHealthAndDiabetes.com.

How to put your own touch on modern bathroom design

November 15, 2018 (316 words)

[Headline: Adding modern bathroom designs]

A secluded bathroom is an ideal spot to experiment with modern designs without undergoing a major renovation. Below are a few tips to add contemporary elements.

Accessorize simply: Choose simple and polished accessories that complement the aesthetic of the room. Incorporate sleek, angular towel bars or an elegant robe hook.

Add warmth: Incorporating softer materials such as a plush rug, textured bath towels or handwoven wicker baskets, will provide contrast to angular accents, bringing a sense of warmth and tranquility.

Create a timeless aesthetic: Inspired by the modern styles found throughout European homes, the Delta Emerge Shower Column couples bold lines with impactful design to deliver a luxurious, customizable shower experience.

Engage your senses: To truly complete the modern look and feel of your bathroom, skip the traditional candle and consider adding elements such as an aromatherapy diffuser.

For more design inspiration, visit DeltaFaucet.com/InspiredLiving.

4 unexpected bed bug hotspots

November 15, 2018 (436 words)

The term “bed bugs” might make you shudder and picture a mattress teeming with bloodsucking insects, but don’t be fooled; the name is a bit of a misnomer. While almost 70 percent of bed bug infestations are associated with beds or items near beds, the insects don’t limit themselves. They can be found in common spaces like movie theaters and public transportation. Terminix offers a few spots you may not have thought to check for these insects. 

* Personal belongings

* Luggage racks

* Dirty laundry

* Furniture

If you do find yourself dealing with a bed bug infestation, don’t try to fight it alone. Take your home back with the help of trained professionals, such as Terminix’s technicians, who are trained to perform thorough inspections, detect bed bugs and develop a customized treatment solution.

At-home hacks: When cough or cold strikes, strike back

November 13, 2018 (472 words)

[Headline: At-home hacks: When cough or cold strikes, strike back]

The average American contracts two to four colds annually, according to WebMD. If you do catch a bug, consider the following care tips from health and wellness expert Cassie Sobelton:

* Stock up on tissues, hand sanitizers and disinfectants so you need not shop for supplies when ill.

* Refill your medicine cabinet with cough and cold medicines formulated for daytime and nighttime use. Offering both varieties is the new Robitussin Honey, the only cough medicine containing 19 percent natural, grade A honey — an antioxidant, antibacterial substance.

* Carry disinfectant wipes or sprays so you can clean up surfaces that may have been exposed to germs.

* Consume healthy food and drink. Maintain a balanced diet, eating a daily portion of a high-bacteria foods and drinking plenty of water.

For more information on effective over-the-counter medications for common colds and coughs, visit www.robitussinhoney.com.

Slippery season: Mayo Clinic offers 10 tips for avoiding falls

November 12, 2018 (464 words)

[Headline: Tips for avoiding falls]

If you’re getting older, consider whether you’re at risk of taking a fall once colder weather hits. Mayo Clinic notes that some 400,000 “fragility fractures” occur annually due to falls injuring osteoporosis-weakened bones.

Suggestions for minimizing such risk from Kim Lombard, Mayo Clinic's injury prevention coordinator:

* Walk like a penguin. Take short, careful steps, adopting a wide stance and pointing feet slightly outward to maintain balance. 

* Exercise your legs and core. Improve strength, balance, coordination and flexibility through low-impact yoga, tai chi, water workouts or dance.

* Choose good footwear. Wear close-fitting shoes and boots that provide good traction, perhaps investing in the handy removable ice cleats that strap right onto your shoes or boots for traversing slippery surfaces.

* Be prepared. Wear winter gear even on short walks so you’ll be protected if you take a spill. And always bring your phone so you can call for help.

The dangers of ticks and how to remove one from your body safely

November 08, 2018 (622 words)

[Headline: Tips for tick removal]

To remove a tick, use a pair of tweezers and wrap them around the tick, as close to your skin as possible. Then, applying steady, even pressure, pull the tick up and away from your skin. Avoid twisting or jerking, as these movements can cause the tick’s mouth parts to break off and remain in the wound. You should also avoid trying to squish the tick, as this can cause the tick’s blood to seep into the wound.

Once the tick has been removed from your body successfully, clean the area with soap and water. You may also use an antiseptic. Then keep an eye on the area where you found the tick. If you notice a rash developing over the following days or you start to suffer from headaches or fever, see your doctor right away.

To learn more about protecting yourself, visit www.pestworld.org.

4 tips to keep pantry pests off your holiday invite list this year

November 08, 2018 (425 words)

[Headline: Tips to keep pests out of your home]

Keep your pantry pest-free with these tips from the National Pest Management Association.

* Store things properly. Plastic containers with secure lids are affordable and invaluable when it comes to protecting your pantry goods from pests. Look for plastic or glass solutions instead of other materials and always try the lid before you buy.

* Make it a total kitchen effort. Your work to protect the cleanliness of your pantry will be more successful if you are vigilant about your entire kitchen. This means routinely emptying trash receptacles, clearing crumbs from countertops, scrubbing the floors and running the dishwasher. 

* Inspect your packages closely. You can protect yourself from rolling out the red carpet for these pests by closely inspecting your food packages before tossing them in your cart. Avoid purchasing any package that shows a hint of damage.

Deck the halls with cherry preserves! Give your holidays a healthy twist

November 07, 2018 (718 words)

[Headline: Deck the Halls with Cherry Preserves]

Cherry-Cranberry Sauce

The rich fruitiness of sweet cherries helps blunt the sharp edge of fresh cranberries. Cooked together, these anthocyanin powerhouses make a great holiday staple that can be used as a base ingredient for cocktails, a glaze for meats, a spread for sandwiches, a topping for yogurt and more.

Ingredients

* Equal portions fresh cranberries and dried/frozen Northwest cherries

* 1/4 cup water or pomegranate juice

* Optional: 4 –2” peels fresh ginger, 3 tbsp citrus zest, black pepper, fresh herbs, raspberries 

Directions

In medium-sized sauce pot, add 1/4 cup water and cranberries. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally and more frequently as the sauce begins to form. Add sweet cherries, continue stirring. Once reduced, remove from heat, incorporate other flavorings if desired. 

Cool for 30 mins – 1 hour before transferring to wider, shallow pan to speed cooling. Once cooled, refrigerate in air-tight container for up to 2 weeks. 

Tips to protect your 'tail'gate

November 07, 2018 (451 words)

With these tailgating tips, you can keep the good times rolling and make sure you aren’t sidelined on game day. The only worry you’ll have is whether your team will score.

Eat in moderation: Enjoy yourself in moderation by remembering that you don’t need to eat and drink everything in sight.

Stay comfortable: Standing and sitting for long periods at tailgates and football games when dealing with backside discomforts is bothersome. One way to get quick relief from backside discomfort is to use Preparation H Totables Irritation Relief Wipes.

BYO … cushion: No one wants “bleacher back” or “stadium seat soreness.” Bring your own seat cushion to make the experience much more comfortable, even if your team is down.

With these tips in mind you’ll be on top of your game and ready to enjoy football season to the fullest. For more information, visit www.preparationh.com.

Where does your turkey come from? It does matter

November 02, 2018 (537 words)

[Headline: Where does your holiday turkey come from?]

Where does your holiday turkey come from? With sustainability and farm-to-table becoming the norm in the food industry, it's a question more and more people are asking. Whether it's grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free chicken or organic produce, people are increasingly aware of the food they put on their family's dinner table. They want to know how and where the animals were raised and how the vegetables were grown, because knowing what goes into the food you eat — and what doesn't — brings peace of mind.

At Shady Brook Farms, turkeys are raised with care on family farms. The farmers, some of whom have been raising turkeys for generations, are the company's heart and soul. 

Family farmers from across the country talk turkeys

November 02, 2018 (604 words)

[Headline: Where does your holiday turkey come from?]

Where does your holiday turkey come from? With sustainability and farm-to-table becoming the norm in the food industry, it's a question more and more people are asking. Whether it's grass-fed beef, antibiotic-free chicken or organic produce, people are increasingly aware of the food they put on their family's dinner table. 

At Honeysuckle White, turkeys are raised with care on family farms. Customers in some areas can actually trace where their turkey was raised by entering a code that's on the package into a field on the Honeysuckle White website. They can learn about the farmer who raised the turkey and see the farm where it was raised.

Time-saving tips and healthy tricks for holiday baking

November 02, 2018 (786 words)

[Headline: 3 key ingredients for healthier holiday baking]

Registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner shares three ingredients for better holiday baking:

High-quality eggs: Eggland’s Best eggs have double the Omega-3s compared to ordinary eggs, which are healthier for recipes and enhance emulsifying qualities during baking. Plus, they have 25 percent less saturated fat, six times more vitamin D, 10 times more vitamin E and more than double the vitamin B12, so you’ll improve the nutritional profile overall.

Dark chocolate: Skip milk or white chocolate and use dark chocolate, which is lower in sugar content and contains important antioxidants that are good for your heart.

Whole-wheat flour: Whole-wheat flour options boost fiber. For cookies with a more delicate texture, consider using a finely milled whole-wheat pastry flour.

Can too much potassium be harmful? What you need to know if you have a chronic condition

November 02, 2018 (543 words)

[Headline: Can too much potassium be harmful?]

For patients with hyperkalemia, controlling potassium levels is important. This might require replacing high-potassium foods such as bananas, melons and oranges with low-potassium foods such as apples, grapes and berries.

Here are other considerations to think about:

*Impact of salt substitutes. While salt substitutes have their appeal for many reasons, some carry very high levels of potassium. Before using such a substitute in meal preparation, it is important to thoroughly read the label.

*Various treatment options exist. Doctors can speak with you about potential treatments including water pills and potassium binders. Only your doctor will know the best choice for you.

*Supplements and remedies. Many herbal remedies or supplements could create more problems because of their high potassium content. Patients should consult their healthcare provider before taking any supplement or remedy to learn more about how the solution could impact their potassium levels.

How parents can encourage and support imaginative play

November 01, 2018 (678 words)

When kids are in the 3- to 5-year age range, toys and games take a more central and productive role in playtime, says Laurie Schacht, publisher of The Toy Insider.

Children reap six benefits from playtime, according to The Genius of Play, a website spotlighting the role of playtime in child development: physical, emotional, social, cognitive, creative and communication.

Pretend play is where kids’ creativity can really shine, when they go deep into new worlds, ideas and characters. Toys that mimic the world and let them imagine and control the happenings, like Calico Critters, are optimal for facilitating this kind of play. These toys have a complete setting, like a house or a town, with a cast of characters who each have a role to play. Kids can get inspired by tuning in to 12 new Calico Critters episodes and two mini-movies being released Nov. 1 on Netflix.

5 tips for navigating Medicare Open Enrollment

October 31, 2018 (630 words)

[Headline: Medicare Open Enrollment tips]

For most people enrolled in Medicare, the annual Open Enrollment period (Oct. 15 through Dec. 7) is the only opportunity to make changes to your existing coverage.

Dan Klein, president and CEO of the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation, a charitable organization that helps people afford the out-of-pocket costs for their treatments, offers the following tips:

Do your homework. There may be a plan better for your needs that could save you hundreds of dollars in the upcoming year.

Make sure your doctors are in-network. If you visit a provider outside of the network, you will likely have to pay more.

Make sure your medications are covered. It’s important to ensure that your plan covers the medications you need.

Determine how you will pay for your out-of-pocket costs. You may be eligible for a co-payment assistance program like PAN. To learn more, visit: PANFoundation.org.

5 Medicare mistakes that could cost you

October 31, 2018 (519 words)

You have a lot of choices when it comes to Medicare. And the most important might be choosing to take charge of your Medicare decisions in the first place. 

Medicare Annual Enrollment, which runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, is your chance to take charge. Here are five common mistakes that you don’t want to make during this time. 

1. Allowing automatic plan renewal to make your choice for you 

2. Ignoring your plan’s Annual Notice of Changes (ANOC) 

3. Basing your plan choice on the premium alone 

4. Picking a plan because your spouse or friend has it 

5. Assuming you don’t qualify for help with Medicare costs 

Medicare Annual Enrollment offers a chance to change your Medicare coverage if you decide to. Review your current coverage and health needs so you can make an informed decision. For more information on Medicare Annual Enrollment, visit UHCOpenEnrollment.com.

Alzheimer's and dementia caregivers: What you need to know

October 31, 2018 (629 words)

[Headline: 4 health tips for caregivers]

Take care of yourself: Try to eat well, exercise and get plenty of rest. Carving out just 30 minutes a day for yourself to do something you enjoy can help reduce caregiver stress.

Maintain good communication: Help other family members understand the demands you’re facing and enlist their help and support.

Seek support: Organize friends and family who want to help provide care and support. Access local support groups or online communities to connect with other caregivers. If stress becomes overwhelming, seek professional help.

Know you’re doing your best: It's normal to lose patience or feel like your care may fall short sometimes. For support and encouragement, consider joining an online or in-person support group.

To learn more about Alzheimer's disease and to find resources for caregivers, families and people living with the disease, visit the Alzheimer's Association website at www.alz.org.

How to save on your healthcare costs in 2019

October 30, 2018 (690 words)

Is an HSA or FSA for you? If you choose an FSA, you can contribute a portion of your salary pre-tax to pay for qualified medical or dependent care expenses. Meanwhile an HSA helps those with qualifying high-deductible health plans pay for current and future medical expenses.

HSA plans remain a popular choice with users as 86 percent of HSA debit card users said they would recommend others get an HSA, according to the 2018 Flexible Spending Account and Health Savings Account Consumer Research study commissioned by Visa and conducted by C+R Research. The study also indicates that 89 percent of FSA users agree that saving money, since contributions are pre-tax, tops their list of reasons for having an FSA. In fact, 79 percent of FSA users said having an FSA helped them take control of their medical expenses.

The open enrollment period is happening so don't delay.

Hepatitis C testing important for veterans

October 30, 2018 (579 words)

[Headline: Veterans at higher risk for hepatitis C]

Data suggest that veterans are at a higher risk for hepatitis C (hep C) exposure. In fact, one out of every 20 veterans enrolled in the Veterans Health Administration has hep C — more than three times the infection rate of the general U.S. population, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The VA has treated more patients for hep C than any major health care system in the U.S. Approximately 357 veterans are started on treatment every week.

The American Legion, the nation’s largest wartime veterans service organization, has joined forces with AbbVie, a global biopharmaceutical company, to increase awareness of hep C and provide free antibody testing for veterans and their communities. Visit legion.org/hepC to learn about the disease and get information about free testing.

Easy ways to spark your infant's curiosity

October 30, 2018 (678 words)

[Headline: spark your infant's curiosity]

While kids may be naturally curious, you can help plant the seeds of success by nurturing their drive for curiosity. Rochelle Wainer, vice president of global insights at Baby Einstein, offers simple research-backed ideas for inspiring curiosity at home:

Engage through play: Play-based learning is one of the most effective ways for small children to develop basic skills that set the stage for educational success.

Stack the toy bin: Quality is more important than quantity for toys, and not all toys are created equal when it comes to inspiring curiosity and fostering development of critical skills. The Baby Einstein Easy Touch Piano is the perfect example.

Read, read, read: Reading is one of the most valuable ways to help children's language and imagination grow.

4 things you might not know about prescription drug costs

October 29, 2018 (421 words)

[Headline: Reasons to order medications online]

The high cost of prescription medications is a health crisis for millions of Americans. The following are some facts you might not know about pharmaceutical costs:

1) The U.S. doesn’t have any laws or regulations in place to prevent or control the amount of money a pharmaceutical company can charge for its medications.

2) Many “American-made” brand-name prescription drugs are manufactured in other countries and then imported into the U.S. Even when drugs are produced in America, most of their active ingredients come from factories in other countries.

3) For years, the Internet has made it possible for Americans to fill their prescription medications at significantly lower cost through licensed, legitimate Canadian pharmacies. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and its Canadian counterpart, Health Canada, have equivalent standards for prescription medications.

To learn more about finding a licensed, legitimate online pharmacy, visit https://personalimportation.org.

Know your enemy: Bed bugs

October 29, 2018 (454 words)

[Headline: Dealing with bed bugs]

How can you avoid getting bed bugs?

The best approach is to take steps that will minimize the risk of bringing the critters home with you. When traveling, be aware of your clothes and any personal belongings that could act as a free ride for a bed bug. Inspect hotel rooms and your own home for signs of bed bugs such as blood spots and shed skin. And check any clothing or furniture you bring into your home, whether new or used. 

How do you get rid of them?

Even the cleanest person can end up with a bed bug infestation. The pests can be extremely difficult to remove, so it’s best to forgo do-it-yourself methods and let professionals handle the issue. Terminix’s trained technicians can help evaluate the infestation and create a treatment plan that will have you sleeping tight — without bed bug bites.

Tips to keep holiday spending from breaking the bank

October 24, 2018 (427 words)

[Headline: Take the stress out of holiday shopping]

Americans will have lots to celebrate this holiday season, with unemployment rates at an all-time low and consumer confidence on the rise. We all get caught up in the spirit of giving, yet the most wonderful time of year is also one of the most stressful financially. However, with a little planning, you can enjoy and be merry.

Here’s a checklist to get started:

* Make a budget

* Make a list of everyone you need to buy for

* Make a list of the big purchases

* Decide how you want to spend your budget — pay now, pay later or pay in increments.

* Save with coupons and discounts

Holiday spending still causing you stress? The experts at Nummo can help you manage, maintain and improve your financial health for the holidays and beyond.

Three workouts everyone over 60 needs

October 24, 2018 (828 words)

[Headline: 3 workouts everyone over 60 needs]

Find peace with your yoga routine

For older adults, practicing yoga can improve balance, flexibility, mental focus and core strength. Taking a class through SilverSneakers is a great way to bond during your workout and get expert guidance from a trained instructor.

Step up your strength

Building muscle mass is a key benefit of strength training, but for older adults there are additional benefits. Strength training, sometimes called resistance training, supports bone health and aids in the prevention of osteoporosis, improves your balance and supports a healthy weight.

Keep the cardio

Walking, cycling and water exercise are all efficient ways to get a great workout while being gentle on your joints. And, with social isolation affecting as many as 43 percent of older adults, asking a friend to join you is a great way to stay motivated, connect with others and enjoy life.

Road salt reduces crashes by up to 88 percent

October 19, 2018 (345 words)

[Headline: Promoting winter road safety]

More than 116,000 Americans are injured and over 1,300 are killed on snowy, slushy or icy pavement every winter.

Studies show road salt is the most effective way to treat road surfaces. A Marquette University study examined highway accidents in snow and found that road salt reduced crashes by up to 88 percent, and injuries and accident costs were reduced by as much as 85 percent.

Another study from the University of Waterloo on the safety impacts of using deicing salt before and after a snow event on four-lane highways found that it reduced accidents by up to 93 percent.

The Salt Institute promotes the latest environmentally friendly application technologies and management practices with its "Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting" program and award. It also partners with other organizations to provide training and information to snowfighters across the U.S. and Canada.

Respite care: What it is and how it can change your life

October 17, 2018 (743 words)

Here are two things you should know about respite care.

1. What is respite care?

Respite care is a short-term stay for patients at a senior living or skilled nursing community. Respite care stays in a senior living community can be for a week or longer. These stays can also be a great way for caregivers and their loved ones to test out a senior living community and see if it is a place they would ever consider moving permanently.

2. Where can you find respite care resources?

Many senior living communities, including Brookdale Senior Living, offer respite care services, so they should be your first point of search. Look for communities close to you, as this will allow for easier transportation and visiting opportunities. You can also ask your loved one's doctor for respite care options in your area.

5 tips for staying calm, cool and collected when you're always on the go

October 16, 2018 (554 words)

Here are some tips for keeping your sanity while managing your busy lifestyle:

Sneak in a workout: Short bursts of high-intensity exercise, like interval training, can be more effective.

Plan ahead for meals and snacks: Shop for all your weekday meals at the beginning of the week and prep them in bulk ahead of time. Keep ready-made, protein-packed snacks like SeaPak’s On-the-Go Shrimp Cocktail on hand.

Make music part of your routine: If you’re feeling mentally tense or worn out, music’s always a great way to collect yourself or reinvigorate your state of mind.

Schedule some me time: In the middle of your busy schedule, don’t forget to prioritize some time for yourself.

Don't push yourself too hard: If you’re feeling stressed, take some time to evaluate the situation. You might need to ask for help. Be sure to make time for what matters most to you.

Forget 'wine rules': 4 unconventional wine pairings for guys

October 15, 2018 (600 words)

[Headline: Forget 'wine rules': 3 unconventional pairings for guys]

The Federalist wines and Dan Dunn, author of American Wino: A Tale of Reds, Whites and One Man's Blues, are on a mission to take the stuffiness out of wine. Some of Dunn's unconventional wine pairings:

* With Elvis’ Christmas Album

“Here Comes Santa Claus” with a red wine blend. Like Jolly Ol’ St. Nick, this North Coast California wine is timeless, big, red and revered.

* With a big juicy burger

Think of a great hamburger like Paul Simon. Both are special on their own, but when paired with the right partner — be it a robust cabernet sauvignon or a spindly, curly-haired tenor from Queens — magic happens.

* With pork

For smoky roasted pork, you can go with a richer, heavier red — say The Federalist Cabernet Sauvignon.

3 alarming places where germs are hiding in your kitchen

October 11, 2018 (562 words)

Check out three places germs like to hide, and things you can do to clean up your act.

1. Your dishwashing station: Researchers from the University of Mauritius discovered towels can develop nasty bacteria when used for a month. Grab a clean towel every few days, a new sponge every few weeks.

2. Your food prep surfaces: According to the NSF study, fecal coliform was present on 45 percent of kitchen sinks, 32 percent of countertops and 18 percent of cutting boards. Wash these areas with hot, soapy water before use.

3. Your refrigerator: These tested positive for E.coli, salmonella or listeria 36 percent of the time. Discard food that’s past its prime, and maintain a consistent temperature between 40 and 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When it’s time to replace your fridge, consider the LG InstaView Door-in-Door, designed to maintain the ideal humidity and temperature levels.

Simple health tips for busy moms

October 10, 2018 (435 words)

Stay healthy while you take care of your family.

Sleep consistency: Prioritize getting 7 or 8 hours of quality rest each night. Make sure your bedroom is quiet, cool, dark and free from distractions that can affect your rest.

Annual physicals: Just like with your kids, proactively seeing a doctor every year can help you tackle issues early before they become a bigger health concern.

Fill prescriptions: Fill your prescriptions and use as directed by your doctor. If you are uninsured or your insurance doesn’t cover the medication, a free prescription savings program like Inside Rx may help. Eligibility requirements and a list of drugs available through the program can be found at InsideRx.com.

Boost nutrition: Stock up on healthy foods that are easy to eat on-the-go and nutrient-packed snacks. Meal planning for the week can help the family enjoy homemade nutritious foods every day.

Chew on this: New eye vitamin tablets may help those with difficulty swallowing pills

October 09, 2018 (385 words)

[Headline: Chew on this: New pills can help reduce the risk of vision loss from AMD]

Many Americans find pills difficult to swallow. Fortunately, the makers of PreserVision have responded with a chewable version of their AREDS 2 Formula vitamin that can be conveniently taken without water, and contain the exact nutrient formula recommended by the National Eye Institute (NEI) to help reduce the risk of progression of moderate to advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss in adults 50 and older.

Facts to know:

* Work with your eye doctor to create an eye care plan that’s right for you.

* Eat right, don’t smoke, exercise regularly and talk to your eye doctor about taking a daily vitamin containing the nutrients recommended by the NEI that could help reduce the risk of disease progression.

* Left untreated, AMD could lead to blindness.

For more information about AMD, visit www.PreserVision.com.

Dual Special Needs Plans help people enrolled in Medicare get additional benefits

October 02, 2018 (626 words)

Fall brings Annual Enrollment Period for Medicare and Medicaid. But another lesser-known option could benefit thousands of Americans who qualify: Dual Special Needs Plans.

In addition to simplifying health care plans for those who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, DSNPs offer benefits that might include:

* dental care, such as exams, x-rays, cleanings, fillings, crowns and extractions;

* access to a health products catalog to order discounted over-the-counter products such as vitamins and first-aid supplies;

* hearing exams and access to hearing aids at a reduced cost;

* an annual eye exam and a credit for eye wear; and

* transportation to health care visits and the pharmacy.

If you are eligible, you can usually enroll for no monthly premium and you can enroll or switch to a new plan at certain times throughout the year. To learn more about UnitedHealthcare’s dual plans, call 1-855-799-3199, TTY 711, or visit www.getdual.com.

Simple steps to stay healthy during cold and flu season

October 02, 2018 (483 words)

[Headline: 3 ways to stay healthy during cold and flu season]

Follow these three steps to help keep your family healthy all season long.

Wash hands: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends washing hands for 20 seconds. Try singing "happy birthday" twice and you'll be good.

Tidy toilet bowls: ContinuousClean from Kohler is a factory-installed system housed in the toilet tank that dispenses a consistent dose of cleaner during each flush.

Launder towels and linens: For frequently used items like bed sheets and bath towels, wash in hot water or use the sanitize setting. Follow this by drying at the high-heat setting in order to kill any microorganisms.

 

Is your child being bullied? Things to know

October 01, 2018 (665 words)

[Headline: What if your child is bullied?]

Carol Heavin, a school counselor for Arkansas Virtual Academy, offers the following tips if you suspect your child is a victim of bullying:

* Take a deep breath and stay as calm as possible.

* Document as many details as you can from your child, including what is being said or done to them, who may have witnessed the repeated behavior, etc.

* Speak to the school administration, sharing as many documented details as you can.

* Ensure your child is a part of an environment that uplifts them (i.e., church events, sports, other clubs).

* If possible, remove them from the bullying situation and consider other academic opportunities, such as a tuition-free online public school.

For more information, visit www.stopbullying.gov. For more on tuition-free online public schools, visit: www.k12.com.

Safe and effective: Choose physical therapy for your back pain

October 01, 2018 (615 words)

[Headline: Choose physical therapy for your back pain]

Low back pain (LBP) has become so pervasive it’s considered the leading cause of disability worldwide.

An active treatment plan from a physical therapist can help you improve your mobility while managing your pain.

Three reasons to choose physical therapy for your back pain:

Physical therapists help you help yourself. They empower you be an active participant in your own treatment.

Physical therapy is a safe and effective alternative to opioids. While doctor­-prescribed opioids are appropriate in some cases, choosing a safer alternative, like physical therapy, eliminates the risk of misuse and avoids the potential negative side effects. Your physical therapist will set realistic expectations for recovery, with or without opioids.

Physical therapy is cost effective. Research shows patients with LBP who consult physical therapists early in their treatment processes incur lower out­-of-­pocket medical costs.

For more information, visit MoveForwardPT.com.

One surprising way to prevent fractures for those over age 65

September 27, 2018 (428 words)

Loss of balance, along with dehydration, attention deficits and loss of cognition are symptoms of a condition known as hyponatremia, low salt levels in the blood. The symptoms can occur even with just slight hyponatremia and can have particularly harmful effects for the elderly as the condition is difficult to diagnose. A study presented at an American Society of Nephrology meeting suggests that low-salt diets may be a contributing factor.

According to Dr. Ewout J. Hoorn, PhD, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands, "Although the complications of hyponatremia are well-recognized in hospitalized patients, this is one of the first studies to show that mild hyponatremia also has important complications in the general population." He added, "Screening for a low sodium concentration in the blood, and treating it when present, may be a new strategy to prevent fractures."

5 Tips to Savvy Shopping for Next Year's Medicare Prescription Drug Plan

September 27, 2018 (499 words)

[Headline: 3 tips to save money when choosing a Medicare prescription drug plan]

As many as 80 percent of seniors choose to stay in a Medicare prescription drug plan that doesn’t match their needs. Follow these tips to make sure you are not one of them.

* Don’t delay the research to find the plan that’s best for you. Doing this research close to the end of Medicare Open Enrollment (Dec. 7) can make this task seem overwhelming and stressful, so start early!

* Find a plan that offers lower copays at preferred pharmacies. If you’re on chronic medications, ordering a 90-day supply through the mail may provide even deeper discounts.

* Make sure your drugs are covered by your plan next year. Be sure to review the list of covered medications to see if they are included. You’ll pay more if they aren't.

Visit www.RoadmapForMedicare.com to learn more about how to look for the plan that’s best for you.

Beyond Calcium: 5 Proven Supplements for Women over 40

September 27, 2018 (583 words)

Here are five supplements, all made from natural plant sources, that can enhance and improve women's health at age 40 and beyond.

Life Extension’s Menopause 731This new supplement has been shown to relieve 11 menopausal discomforts, including hot flashes, depression, night sweats, mood swings, sleep disturbances and vaginal dryness.

* Resveratrol: This plant compound is associated with slowing down the aging process. It can also contribute to cardiovascular health.

* Curcumin: This extract from turmeric can help promote a healthy heart, brain, joints and more.

* Pomegranate: Pomegranates contain powerful antioxidants and support whole body health, including breast, heart, kidney and liver health.

* Milk Thistle: Used medicinally for more than 2,000 years, milk thistle supports liver health and the body's detoxification pathways.

Balancing 2 (or more) generations under one roof

September 26, 2018 (723 words)

[Headline: Tips for seniors who opt to live with family]

As seniors consider how they will adapt their homes to their changing needs, some will opt for combining households with their grown children.

* Consider ways to adapt or even renovate the home so you can strike a balance between privacy and communal space.

* Combining households can be hard, especially with varying tolerance levels for noise and clutter. Commit to communicate, while doing your share to keep the peace.

* Family finances can be fraught with a lifetime of bad habits. From the start, be clear on who pays for what, from utilities, to child care to dinners out.

* Be aware of community resources. For example, SCAN Health Plan is a Medicare Advantage Plan that also offers a number of no-cost services and programs to seniors and their caregivers in many California counties, regardless of plan membership. Visit scanhealthplan.com.

The grocery store scoop: Debunking common myths

September 25, 2018 (675 words)

[Headline: Recipe: Zesty Egg Fried Rice Lettuce Wraps]

Ingredients:

4 Eggland's Best Eggs (large)

2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce

6 strips lean smoked bacon, chopped

2 cups cooked jasmine rice

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

1/3 cup sliced scallion greens

12 leaves Boston/Bibb lettuce

Directions:

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and Sriracha together until well combined. In large non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Transfer bacon to plate, leaving drippings in the skillet. When cooled, chop bacon into small pieces. Drizzle the egg mixture into the skillet, stirring as you drizzle. Add bacon, black pepper, rice and soy sauce to skillet and stir-fry 3-4 minutes, or until eggs are set. Stir in scallion tops. Remove from heat. Divide the mixture among the lettuce leaves and serve immediately.

Me, myself and eye: 5 common behaviors that could be hurting your eyes

September 25, 2018 (501 words)

[Headline: 5 common behaviors that could hurt your eyes]

To prevent strain or damage to your eyes, avoid these behaviors:

* Not wearing sunglasses. Wear sunglasses outside, seeking lenses that block at least 99 percent of UVA and UVC rays.

* Failing to visit your eye doctor annually. Seeing an eye doctor once a year ensures you have no serious eye issues and that your vision needs no further correction.

* Staring at your smartphone. Enlarge your font, always keep your phone at least 16 inches away and take screen breaks every 20 minutes.

* Overusing eye drops. Non-prescription eye drops should not be a long-term solution to any eye issue.

* Using old or borrowed eye makeup. Replace makeup every three months and avoid using other people's makeup to keep from introducing new and potentially harmful bacteria.

For more information on vision care insurance, visit VSPDirect.com or call 800-785-0699.

Hurricane Florence: What to watch out for during recovery

September 25, 2018 (505 words)

Hurricane Florence has come and gone, but its aftermath remains. These steps can give homeowners a better idea of what they can do next to recover.

1. If you need to relocate, keep the receipts of your expenses. Homeowners insurance will generally provide coverage, but review your policy and contact information.

2. Report your claim. You can file a claim online or by calling.

3. Secure your home and make temporary repairs. Protect property from further damage. Photograph debris or damaged items. Save receipts.

4. Prepare for the adjuster's visit. Provide complete information about the damage to your property.

5. Hire a contractor — with care. Check the contractor’s license or identification, do not pay upfront, take photos of the contractors and their license plates, and call your insurance provider if you suspect fraud.

For more information on insurance coverage, visit USAA.com/help.

Helpful advice for couples in search of intimacy after prostate cancer

September 25, 2018 (586 words)

The Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education and Support Network offers this guide to help couples living with a prostate cancer diagnosis navigate tricky issues around intimacy.

Find common ground: Discuss ways to support each other and find common ground. Hold the conversation in a neutral area, listen and empathize.

Know that options are out there: Learn more about non-surgical options that can make it easier to get intimate, such as prescription medicines or penile injection.

Seek counsel from a professional: Don’t be afraid to seek professional help. Even if you feel uncomfortable with the idea of talking about these private matters, they know how to put you at ease.

You’re not alone: There’s no need to suffer in silence, because many couple are navigating through similar issues. For more information, visit ustoo.org.

Rats! How these rodents can ruin your day

September 25, 2018 (519 words)

[Headline: What dangers does a rat infestation present?]

The rat that winds up in your house isn’t the cute-but-cunning character of cartoons. Rodents present dangers to your health and home. Rats can damage electrical wiring, wooden beams, insulation and food stores, and they can carry pathogens that may transmit diseases to humans, such as hantavirus. These pathogens can be transmitted and even become airborne through urine and droppings, meaning that you could be exposed to disease without ever seeing the rat. Because of this, you should never disturb a rodent nest, and instead allow a rodent control professional to handle it.

Ideally, you’ll prevent rats from entering your home in the first place through methods such as inspecting possible entry points and trimming back trees and shrubbery. But if rats make it into your home, contact a pest control provider such as Terminix to come up with a treatment plan.

National Seafood Month: 5 reasons to choose sustainable seafood

September 24, 2018 (737 words)

October is National Seafood Month. One of the best ways to keep the world’s waters full of life is to choose certified wild, sustainable seafood.

The Marine Stewardship Council’s blue fish label indicates the product meets sustainability standards. So why pick seafood with this label?

1. It’s better for the oceans. Certified sustainable seafood ensures whole ecosystems remain healthy and thriving with marine life.

2. It’s good for the whole family. Seafood provides nutrients, vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids.

3. It’s a way to drive change with your shopping habits. You’re protecting jobs and preserving coastal communities.

4. It’s available at every price point. Whether you’re looking for healthy, affordable lunch options or celebrating a special occasion, sustainable seafood is a viable option.

5. It’s a way to ensure seafood for generations to come. Consumers have the power to support individuals and organizations committed to protecting our wild oceans.

One woman's struggle with sickle cell disease and 3 things she wishes you knew

September 24, 2018 (812 words)

Tosin Ola never passes up the opportunity to share information about the sickle cell disease she faces, including these facts.

1. The disease can be eradicated just by knowing your trait. An SCD test is not run on adults unless you ask for it, so do so as part of your annual blood work. If you have the trait, educate yourself on how you can pass it on.

2. SCD patients are not pain medication seekers. As an “invisible” disease, the lack of objective methods to measure pain means emergency room staff are often skeptical and assume SCD patients are addicts. Facing disbelief and judgment, Ola sometimes even avoids the emergency room.

3. SCD is more than just pain. Patients may also suffer the destruction of red blood cells, fatigue and, in cases of chronic hemolytic anemia, hypoxia, vascular injury, progressive end-organ damage and premature mortality.

For information, visit www.sicklecellwarriors.com.

From deductibles to donuts, key terms to know about Medicare Part D

September 21, 2018 (530 words)

[Headline: Info on Medicare Part D’s donut hole]

Medicare Part D, which helps cover prescription drugs, has its own terminology.

Most Part D plans have a coverage gap known as a “donut hole.” In 2019, you enter this donut hole once out-of-pocket costs (including deductibles, copays and coinsurance) for prescription drugs reach $3,820. While in the donut hole, you will pay a percentage of drugs’ cost.

In 2019, once out-of-pocket costs reach $5,100, you exit the donut hole and pay a smaller coinsurance. The donut hole’s days are numbered. Under a 2010 Affordable Care Act provision, the coverage gap has been shrinking. Beginning in 2019, the maximum you will pay in the gap for a branded drug is 25 percent of its cost. For generics, it is 37 percent, but in 2020, that will be reduced to 25 percent.

Medicare Annual Enrollment runs from Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. To learn more, visit UHCOpenEnrollment.com.

Newborn to 13+: Car safety tips for kids of all ages

September 20, 2018 (664 words)

[Headline: Is your child in the right car seat?]

Parents trust their car seat or booster seat will keep their child protected in a crash, but is your seat truly safe?

Every 33 seconds, a child under 13 is involved in a car crash, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data. Even more startling: Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1-13, so parents should be proactive about making sure their child has the best protection possible whenever they’re in the car.

One of the most common mistakes parents and caregivers make is moving children too soon to the next restraint type (whether that’s the next car seat, booster seat or seat belt) or direction (rear-facing to forward-facing). Parents should always make sure the car seat is appropriate for their child's age, height and weight.

For information about choosing the right seat and finding a nearby car seat check location, visit NHTSA.gov/TheRightSeat.

 

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